Mojo in the Morning's 'Slut and a Virgin Spring Break' contest is a real thing, in 2015

Today in “Things you wish were published on The Onion,” Detroit’s own Mojo in the Morning is hosting a “Slut and a Virgin Spring Break” contest.

As a super-fun way of granting college students a spot in the morning show’s upcoming spring break trip to Cancun, the popular Detroit morning show invites its listeners to call in and self-identify to producers as either a “slut” or a “virgin.” I put both of those words in quotes because they are both constructs and just about as real as Bigfoot.

I’m sorry, that was offensive. Bigfoot lives.

Once on the air, Mojo and his colleagues ask each caller a series of questions in hopes of figuring out which they are: a “slut” or a “virgin.” One individual from each category will be selected for the March spring break trip.

Hints at the answer, according to Mojo and friends, can be found in which college or university the student in question attends, the number of relationships they've been in, and how hard they work at long-distance relationships. Seems legit.

After the radio personalities have made their guesses, the caller ‘fesses up, and their admission is greeted by the sort of lecherous proclamations that one should expect to hear in a fraternity house — and, I guess, on Mojo in the Morning: “She’s a sluuuut!”

Longtime co-host of the show Spike addressed criticisms of the contest on-air. “You know Mojo, people are mad at us for this contest, like, ‘Why you making them say they’re a slut?’ That was the whole casting of the trip! We wanted to send one virgin, one slut, see how they enjoy Spring Break.”

Well. It doesn't take a genius or a Gender Studies student to see that labels like “slut” and “whore” are tired and offensive. But because this writer is a former Gender Studies student, I’m going to also point out that this contest explicitly plays into a little thing called the “virgin/whore dichotomy” —  essentially, the idea that women can only be “good” or “bad,” “virgins” or “sluts.” Which is, obviously, ridiculous, because women are people and people are dynamic and complex and cannot be squared away into neat little slut-boxes.

Furthermore, even though those who sign up for the contest are self-identifying as either a “virgin” or a “slut,” they’re doing so because it’s what the contest asks of them, and what society too often asks of all women. So maybe just don’t host a contest that reinforces sexist thought in the first place?

To be fair, Spike does make it clear that this is a contest that does not discriminate: men, too, can be whores! They can be “man-whores,” he points out. (A woman-whore, on the other hand, is just a whore.) Yet later, in addressing complaints about the contest, he referred only to the women who signed themselves up for the contest. “These girls volunteered on the website and called themselves [sluts or virgins]. We’re not trying to label girls and slut-shame them.”

He made no mention of the men who might call in.

The winners of the contest will be announced tomorrow. Happy 2015, everybody!

Check out the show embedded above, if you’re cool with feeling icky for the rest of the night.